Before becoming a manager Newbould combined a job at an iron foundry with playing football, playing as an outside right. Derby St. Luke and Sheffield Wednesday among his clubs. He later trained as an accountant.
In 1900 he became the first person to hold the position of manager at Derby County, stepping up from his previous position as assistant secretary. Prior to his appointment the Derby team was selected by committee. Newbould's Derby reached the FA Cup final in 1903, but lost 6–0 to Bury at Crystal Palace. In 1906 financial pressures led Derby's directors to sell England international Steve Bloomer to Middlesbrough. Newbould disagreed with the decision, and left the club at the end of the season to take up the managerial position at Manchester City.
Newbould joined Manchester City with the club in turmoil. A scandal concerning illegal payments to players had resulted in the suspension of seventeen players, leaving a squad of only eleven players. Newbould was tasked with both rebuilding the team and proving the club's accounts were being run in a lawful manner. Newbould's first match was an encounter with Woolwich Arsenal at Hyde Road. The makeshift side struggled on a hot day, losing three players to sunstroke by half-time. By the end of the match City were down to just six players, the final score 4–1 to Arsenal. His second match saw an even heavier defeat, 9–1 to Everton, a scoreline which remains a club record defeat more than a century later. Over the course of the season Newbould's City gradually recovered, winning the first top-flight Manchester derby 3–0, but only finished two places above the relegation zone. The following season, he guided Manchester City to a third-place finish, but performances were inconsistent, and in the 1908–09 season the club were relegated. Newbould remained manager after relegation and led City to the Second Division championship at the first attempt. After two consecutive bottom half Division One finishes, Newbould left the club.
- James, Gary (2006). Manchester City - The Complete Record. Derby: Breedon. ISBN 1-85983-512-0. p237
- Clayton, David (2002). Everything under the blue moon: the complete book of Manchester City FC - and more!. Edinburgh: Mainstream publishing. ISBN 1-84018-687-9. p148
- "Derby County Football Club History". Vital Derby County. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
- "Roll-call of Managers". Derby County FC. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- Rippon, Anton (2013-10-19). "It took Derby County 50 years to sack a manager". Derby Evening Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- James, Gary (2002). Manchester: The Greatest City. Polar Publishing. ISBN 1-899538-09-7. p59-65
- Manchester City - The Complete Record p112-3